By Ruth Flynn, Kiawah Cares board member for The Island Connection
With the arrival of spring, E.L. Frierson Elementary School has introduced an exciting new tennis program for interested students. So far, with the help of parents and staff, “Red Ball” teams (for kindergarten through second grade) have been formed. The teams will practice at school and play in matches with other local elementary schools. After hearing about the program, their Kiawah neighbors wanted to support the program and looked for ways to contribute. The school already had a tennis court, but the Kiawah Cares Foundation made a grant to purchase nets, red balls, smart spot markers, buckets, a travel cart, and some racquet tape. Jonathan Barth and Bruce Hawtin, who founded and operate the Barth-Hawtin Tennis Academy at the Roy Barth Tennis Center on Kiawah Island, also stepped in to help. The two professionals came out to Frierson to coach parent volunteers on teaching skills, drills, match play pointers and good sportsmanship. Jonathan Barth was impressed by what he experienced, saying, “The group at E.L. Frierson was so much fun to work with. Both the kids and volunteers all wanted to be there and, to be honest, they have the makings of something pretty special.” Elizabeth Jackson Poole, one of the parents spearheading the creation of the team, said, “Having Jonathan and Bruce come out gave us a better idea of how to organize and run the practices! So valuable!”
Tennis is terrific exercise, and one of the outdoor sports that the children can play easily both during the time of Covid and for the rest of their lives. Watch out Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, here come those Frierson players!